Modeling intrinsic bioremediation for interpret observable biogeochemical footprints of BTEX biodegradation: The need for fermentation and abiotic chemical processes

Max Maurer, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The intrinsic bioremediation of BTEX must be documented by the stoichiometric consumption and production of several other compounds, called 'footprints' of the biodegradation reaction. Although footprints of BTEX biodegradation are easy to identify from reaction stoichiometry, they can be confounded by the stepwise nature of the biodegradation reactions and by several abiotic chemical reactions that also produce or consume the footprints. In order to track the footprints for BTEX biodegradation, the following reactions need to be considered explicitly: (1) fermentation and methanogenesis as separate processes, (2) precipitation and dissolution of calcite, (3) precipitation and dissolution of amorphous iron monosulfide (FeS), (4) conversion of FeS into the thermodynamically stable pyrite (FeS 2) with loss of sulfide and abiotic formation of H 2, and (5) reductive dissolution of solid iron(III) by oxidation of sulfide. We critically review the research that underlies why these mechanisms must be included and how to describe them quantitatively. A companion manuscript develops and applies a mathematical model that includes these reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalBiodegradation
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • calcite
  • dissolution
  • fermentation
  • footprints
  • intrinsic bioremediation
  • iron reduction
  • methanogenesis
  • natural attenuation
  • precipitation
  • sulfate reduction
  • sulfide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution

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